Something is stirring. For 10 years I have walked the streets of the Point area of Durban, loving and caring for the women and girls who are residents of those streets. One street in particular is incredibly dark. Pickering street is run by mafia, drug lords, pimps and traffickers. Crime and violence has been the norm for years and over the past 4 years it has gotten so much darker.
4 years ago the “church people” were banned from the shelters, no longer allowed to go in to feed and care for the homeless, vulnerable residents. Drug addiction and crime sky rocketed, the sex trade and trafficking kicked up a gear, things got out of control. Even the police had written off the street.
And I am also guilty of walking away from Pickering. As I write that my heart drops, I am guilty of believing that Pickering wasn’t worth fighting for. That her residents were too far gone.
I was determined that the only way to “save” our girls is to remove them from Pickering. This week everything changed. EVERYTHING.
I spent most of Monday morning on Pickering street getting my car window fixed by a Burundian refugee. As I stood in the blazing heat, skin getting burnt and body seriously in need of shelter and water, something shifted in my soul. I watched the street living and breathing for 4 hours. Dealers making their exchanges with addicts. Girls getting in and out of clients cars. Children weaving in and out of parked cars, chasing each other. 2 elderly Gogos cooking fish on coals. A number of young refugee men fixing cars in the street. And me. And suddenly I felt at home again.
On Monday I stood and watched 14 of my girls and their babies trying to live live outside on the street. Their shelter had been closed down a few day ago and they could not afford to stay in the more expensive shelter next door. So here they were, all their belongings out on the street, trying to make the best of a terrible situation. I sat with them on the sidewalk as they bathed their babies and did their laundry, right there on the street. I took a couple of the toddlers with me to the grocery store and got everyone some food. But a few food items are not going to make much of a difference, I knew that something had to be done. So I decided to book all of them into the more expensive shelter for 2 nights. 2 nights because that is all we could afford.
But that also was not enough. So I did a facebook post and asked for help. Pretty soon we had them covered for a week. God is so good.
As I book the girls and their babies into the shelter the manager informs me that this shelter is also closing down on the 28th of February. When it closes close to 200 vulnerable people will be sleeping outside on the streets, many of which are women and children. I felt sick when I heard this. There are no answers for our girls. No help. Nothing. I was angry and frustrated as I drove home. What can I do Father? You love them more than I do, help them.
That night I had a dream. In my dream I was standing on Pickering street with my pastor from New York. I asked Pastor Bill “what should I do?” And he replied “be the light. Just BE it!”
As we stood on Pickering facing this more expensive shelter building, Victoria Lodge, light started to shine out of the Windows. Suddenly it was a lighthouse, guiding my girls to safety. Away from the drug dealer, away from the pimps, away from the clients. Leading them to the Father.
On Tuesday I had to return to Pickering street for my refugee friend to finish fixing my window. I walked into Victoria Lodge to check on the girls. And the manager informed me that the owner wants to sell up and get rid of the building… she didn’t know how much. Didn’t know when or how, but the owner is done with the place and and to get rid of it. Something started to stir. I felt a smidgen of hope rise in me. Could it be possible? Could Victoria Lodge become Hope’s Harbour? Father, what is your plan?
Now I don’t have any money. Like nothing. So I know that if this happens it is 100% the Father. And I know that miracles happen, I’ve seen them, but this one is MASSIVE. So I send my team a message, tell them everything and just ask for them to pray.
Last night Geela and I go to Victoria Lodge to pay for the girls rent and as I am talking to people about the place being a lighthouse I look up and see the picture above painted on the wall of the entryway of the building.
A LIGHTHOUSE!!!! WHAAAATTTTT?!?!?!?!
Father are you serious? A lighthouse painted on the wall, hidden by old beds and doors. We move the rubble out of the way and see that not only is there a lighthouse but it has a light shining.
So there is a stirring, a shifting, please pray. Please lift the situation to the Father and trust for a miracle with us. Our girls deserve this.
There is an urgency and the Father knows. We trust Him.